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Raft of sex charges denied

Raft of sex charges denied

An Ashburton man with interim name suppression has pleaded not guilty to a raft of historic and more recent, rape, sexual violation, and family violence charges.

The 23-year-old man appeared before Judge Campbell Savage in the Ashburton District Court on Monday.

He faces two charges of rape, one of a girl aged between 12 and 16 in 2017 and the other of a woman over 16 sometime between 2020 to 2023.

He is also charged with three counts of unlawful sexual connection, one of indecent assault, two charges of strangulation and one of family violence.

His lawyer, Paul Norcross, said the man pleaded not guilty to all charges and elected to have a jury trial.

If found guilty, the man faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail on the rape charges.

He will appear again on April 8 for a case review.

Remanded without plea

A 36-year-old man accused of three counts of rape of a girl under 12 and one of unlawful sexual connection was remanded without plea.

The offences were allegedly committed by the man, who has interim name suppression, between 2019 and 2021.

He will appear again on February 5.

Guilty pleas

Two Ashburton men pleaded guilty to charges laid under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Act for failing to register cattle or notify their movements on a Wakanui farm in 2022.

Lawyer Grant Fletcher entered the guilty pleas on behalf of Joel Charles Townshend, 39, and Keith Bruce Townshend, 69.

Joel Townshend is charged with failing to register as a person in charge of animals between May and July 2022 and failing to register a large number of cattle between July and October. Keith Townshend is charged with failing to declare the movement of cattle.

Fletcher said this was an infringement matter only.

The men will appear for sentencing on May 6.

Damage admitted

Hampstead man John David Murison, 56, admitted damaging a door on a home on Kermode Street on December 5 last year after police reduced the charge to intentional damage.

His lawyer Tiffany McRae said Murison accepted the damage "wasn’t an appropriate way to respond" and offered $500 in reparation.

Judge Savage convicted Murison and ordered him to pay $500 for the damaged door.

Man encouraged to co-operate

Judge Savage told a Winchmore man to "keep his head in the game" and speak to Corrections - or he would face time in jail to ensure that happened.

Kenneth Walters-Job, 27, appeared on a charge of driving while disqualified after he was stopped by police on the Temuka-Orari Highway on September 28 last year.

He was remanded on bail with a new bail condition to report to Corrections and will appear for sentencing on February 19.

Case remanded

A Fairton man pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis and possessing cannabis oil on December 20 last year as well as entering a local Fairton property with the intent to commit an offence between December 17 and 18.

Mark James van Duinen, 40, will appear for sentencing on March 4.

Judge Savage made a referral for restorative justice and requested reports to assess Van Duinen's suitability for an electronically monitored sentence.

Driver disqualified

Kayden Bennett, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified on Methven Chertsey Road on March 18 last year.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Bennett had been given the opportunity to get his licence to avoid disqualification but had not made getting his licence a priority.

Judge Savage disqualified Bennett for six months and fined him $300 plus court costs of $130.

Assault admitted

An Allenton man jointly charged with two others for an attack that left a man wounded on November 30 admitted a charge of assault.

The other men are charged with assault and wounding the man with intent to injure.

Lawyer Gretchen Hart said William Trevor Allan wanted to "address the matter and take responsibility".

Judge Savage remanded Allan on bail with a new bail condition not to be intoxicated in public and referred the case to restorative justice.

Allan will appear for sentencing on March 4.

Warrants issued

Judge Savage issued three arrest warrants for people who failed to appear in court.

A man caught with a breath alcohol level over six times the legal limit was not in court on new charges of drink driving and failing to stop for police on January 20 and a charge of driving while disqualified on October 29 last year.

Police allege Richard Jackson Bishop, 24, blew 1563 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when stopped on McCurdo Street - his third or subsequent drink driving charge.

Allenton man Joshua Thomas Smith, 35, failed to appear on a charge of failing to stop for police on August 14 last year and a new charge of stealing black Slazenger trainers from the Warehouse in Ashburton on January 2.

Dorie woman Aimee Elizabeth Mcgregor, 37, failed to appear on a charge of stealing over $1000 in Oamaru on July 15 last year.

By Sharon Davis